OTTAWA – Wind Concerns Ontario president Jane Wilson is calling for an immediate halt to approvals for large-scale wind turbine projects in Ontario, subsequent to an announcement by Health Canada that it is undertaking a large study of reports of health problems due to turbine noise.
Health Canada, in collaboration with Statistics Canada, will conduct a research study that will explore the relationship between wind turbine noise and health effects reported by, and objectively measured in, people living near wind power developments.
“This study is in response to questions from residents living near wind farms about possible health effects of low frequency noise generated by wind turbines,” said Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “As always, our Government is putting the health and safety of Canadians first and this study will do just that by painting a more complete picture of the potential health impacts of wind turbine noise.”
Health Canada is aware of health-related complaints from individuals living in close proximity to wind turbine establishments. The study is being designed with support from external experts, specializing in areas including noise, health assessment, clinical medicine and epidemiology.
“We have been saying this for years as people in Ontario exposed to turbine noise and infrasound are being made ill. We have demanded health studies, we have demanded research to back-up the province’s assertion that its setbacks are safe, and yet, the province issued approvals for these projects with no scientific evidence to prove they were safe,” Wilson said. “Now, Health Canada’s admission that research is needed is confirming that,” added Wilson, who is a registered nurse.
“It is unacceptable for the Ontario government to continue to approve projects when government staff refuse to acknowledge the problem, are not able to measure the noise, and cannot ensure compliance with their own regulations, which are clearly inadequate.
It is time for this fiasco to stop,” Wilson concluded.
Health Canada, in its announcement today, admits there are “knowledge gaps” in the area of measuring turbine noise and exposure to rural citizens. They say that there is “limited research” on the health effects being reported by people exposed to turbine noise and infrasound which is not factual. There is ample evidence from Ontario and around the world. Now this evidence base needs to be strengthened and acted upon.